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Published May 22, 2023 | public
Journal Article

Rhodium-Catalyzed Alkenylation of Arenes with Multi-Substituted Olefins: Comparison of Selectivity and Reaction Rate as a Function of Olefin Identity


Rhodium-catalyzed arene alkenylation using Cu(II) carboxylates as the in situ oxidant and mono-substituted olefins has been previously reported (e.g., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 139, 5474; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 17007; Organometallics 2019, 38, 3860; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 10534). Herein, studies are extended to multi-substituted olefins with the goal of evaluating the effect of olefin substitution pattern and substituent identity on selectivity and turnover frequency. The influence of olefin substitution is probed by comparing the conversion of benzene to alkenyl arenes with ethylene, propylene, 1-butene, cis-2-butene, trans-2-butene, isobutene, 2-methyl-2-butene, and tetramethylethylene as well as the phenyl-substituted olefins and isomers of propenylbenzene. The rate of oxidative hydrophenylation for multi-substituted olefins follows the trend monosubstituted > disubstituted > trisubstituted, and tetrasubstituted olefins are unreactive. To probe the effect of substituent size on Markovnikov/anti-Markovnikov regioselectivity, cyclohexyl, tert-butyl, isopropyl, ethyl, and methyl substituted α-olefins are compared. Selectivity for anti-Markovnikov products generally increases as substituent steric bulk is increased. Tolerance for some functionalized olefins is demonstrated. The ortho/meta/para regioselectivity with mono-substituted arenes reveals that arene and olefin identity influences selectivity. Further mechanistic studies provide evidence for Curtin–Hammet control of ortho/meta/para regioselectivity with monosubstituted arenes.

Additional Information

© 2023 American Chemical Society. M.T.B., C.W.R., and T.B.G. were supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division (DE-SC0000776). CBM and WAG were supported by ONR (N00014-19-1-2081). The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023